This blog is a tribute to Belle, and all the dogs who have come before and after. They are my friends, my companions, my teachers and my students. They bring me both joy and heartache, laughter and tears. There is nothing as sweet as the smell of puppy breathe, and nothing as sad as the final goodbye.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Timo (my man!)

Timo was one of the last dogs Long Island Labrador Retriever Rescue took in before our beloved founder passed away. He was a handful from the start! He was wild and destructive, ... the ultimate dog from hell. I wanted to strangle him often and fantasized daily about sending him to the shelter. But then I would look into his eyes...oh, his eyes! I saw such intelligence and love in those eyes. I had to give him  a chance.

We spent nearly 3 months doing Margot Wood's 'Long Down' exercise before I could even touch him without his excitement level rising to the level of insanity. By that I mean he would try to jump on and over me, all the while barking shrilly and incessantly from even the slightest touch.

Daily we worked on attention exercises, heeling exercises, recall and the basics. Gradually he calmed down.

Today Timo is a certified therapy dog and my best friend. All the hard work has paid off. Does he still have his moments? Yes! But they are few and far between. Do we still train daily? Yes, yes, yes! And that is because training is a life-long commitment  between us, a never ending process that continues to grow as new challenges present themselves or are created.

I am so proud of my Timo and so grateful that I was able to see the great dog hidden behind the beast.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And soon became this

That's Noah on the left, a LILRR rescue from VA, Baci in the center  and Belle on the right. Baci and Belle are gone now, but they have changed me forever.
If you should see a tennis ball falling from the sky know that Belle and Baci are biding their time, doing what they enjoy best, until we are together again.  

How it all began

Belle at 15.
RIP my sweet girl.